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How to Use Your Old SSD as an External Storage Drive

Can an SSD Be Used as External Storage?

SSDs are known for providing internal storage within a laptop or computer. But did you know SSDs can also be used as external storage? External storage is an easy and portable way to store all your files. Connected on the outside of your device, an external storage drive allows you to back up and move all your files from one computer to another. External storage drives are available to buy, but before you spend any extra money, you might already have what you need lying around to build your own. Keep reading to learn how to use your old SSD as an external storage drive.

Are SSDs Better than HDDs?

Kingston KC600 SSD with a USB 3.0 enclosure, USB cable, and a mounting bracket for desktops

Solid state drives (SSDs) have evolved in the last few years, and most laptops now contain an SSD as their primary storage, replacing hard disk drive (HDD) products. SATA SSDs are almost ten times faster, and with no moving parts they are more reliable with a stronger performance than HDDs, which makes replacing a hard drive with an SSD one of the best things you can do to improve the performance of your slow computer.

When to Repurpose Your Old Storage Device

Have you recently upgraded to a new storage drive? Perhaps to an NVMe SSD? Well, before you throw away your old SATA SSD, M.2 SSD, or HDD, you might be pleased to hear that an old drive can be repurposed and prove more useful than you think.

If you got rid of your old drive because of serious problems, then chances are it won’t work any better as external storage. But if you're upgrading your current storage for a faster or larger-capacity SSD, then you can use the old one as external storage. For SATA drives, you can purchase an SSD Installation Kit separately. These kits include a USB 3.0 enclosure, USB cable, 3.5” mounting bracket for desktops, and Acronis cloning software.

How to Turn an old SSD into External Storage

  • The first step is to transfer all the data from the old drive to the new drive. It doesn’t matter if you install the new drive into the PC or in the enclosure first, just make sure you clone your data from your existing drive to the new drive. Be sure to purchase the drive that includes the cloning kit.
  • If you haven’t already, open the case and slide the SSD in. The 3.0 enclosure included with the Bundle Kit or the SNA-B Installation Kit uses a latch. Other enclosures might require a screwdriver. You can also install M.2 SSDs into an enclosure. There are enclosures with either USB-A or USB-C connectors. If your computer supports USB-C and NVMe, be sure to use an NVMe M.2 enclosure. You can watch our video on this topic in the gallery below.
  • Before you can use your old storage as external storage, you will need to either delete the old files or just reformat it.
  • Now you can start using it as an external drive.

You can even take your external storage to the next level and transform the enclosure into a personalized and creative device by making personalized customizations with themes like steampunk wood, leather and brass, Legos, or a concrete case! External storage doesn’t have to be boring.

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